best method to clean wheels?

best method to clean wheels?

Post by mccl.. » Thu, 05 Oct 1995 04:00:00



I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
like.
Kent M. McClure
Auto racing afficionado and member of San
Jose IPMS chapter.
My views are what they are, like them or not.
 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Paul J Claff » Thu, 05 Oct 1995 04:00:00


: I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
: but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
: use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
: like.

Here is a method a friend and I worked out:
 - lay a piece of flex track on your table top
 - drape a paper towel over the flex track
 - wet the paper towel in the area right over the rails
    with the solvent of choice (e.g. ***)
 - place the car (or truck assembly) on the paper towel
    and on the rails
 - roll the car (or truck) back and forth
 - move the paper towel and re-wet as necessary

On metal wheels I use acetone or lacquer thinner.  I also use this
method to remove paint!  After air-brushing the assembled trucks,
wheels and all, and waiting until the paint has dried,  I clean the
tires on the wheels with the above method.

If you use plastic wheels, you might try a commercial product called
Gum be Gone or something like that?  It smells of citrus and I'm told
will remove the gunk on plastic wheels without hurting the plastic.


--


 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by James Kuenem » Thu, 05 Oct 1995 04:00:00


: I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
: but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
: use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
: like.

 Kent,

  Are you talking about locomotive wheels or rolling stock wheels? I
personally like the wheel cleaners that are connected to track power
which you run the locomotive on wire brushes. Kadee use to make one, I
do not know if they still do, I have a Minitrix that is made for N
scale. It sets on the rail and powers two sets of wires brushes. You
simply hold the locomotive wheels on the wire brushes and crank on the
power. The spinning wheels on the wire brushes do all the work for you.
Freight car wheels I still uses the toothbrush and denatured ***
method. I will not assume everyone knows what denatured *** is,
since I read about it for years and had no idea were to get it. I can be
found at you home center next to paint thinners, mineral spirits, ect.
If you are using rubbing *** try the denatured, it works much
better.

Jim Kueneman

: Kent M. McClure
: Auto racing afficionado and member of San
: Jose IPMS chapter.
: My views are what they are, like them or not.

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by e.. » Fri, 06 Oct 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
>but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
>use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
>like.

I use a kind of plastic/*** supplied by amongst others Roco and Fleischmann.
It polishes the weels (and tracks), and you absolutely don't need
anything else. The same stuff is also mounted on a car (Roco) that runs in
one of my trains, it keeps the track clean. If you want part numbers, let me
know, I don't have the catalogues over here.

Whether or not it is the best method, I don't know, but my trains run smoothly,
even at very low speeds, without having to clean everything every few weeks.

        Erik.

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  Erik Teunissen                 |      
  Philips Sound & Vision         |
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best method to clean wheels?

Post by Kenneth Willmo » Fri, 06 Oct 1995 04:00:00


: I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
: but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
: use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
: like.
: Kent M. McClure
: Auto racing afficionado and member of San
: Jose IPMS chapter.
: My views are what they are, like them or not.

I recently started using a small wire brush with brass
bristles that I bought at a hardware store, followed
with a wipe with a rag dipped in rubbing ***.
Now I keep that elbow grease in the kitchen, where
it belongs. :-)

--
   ______________________    Ken Willmott
  |][] # # # []  # ## [][|  
  |_||_______||____## ||_|
___(U-U-U)`------'(U-U-U)______________________________
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Frank Kastenho » Fri, 06 Oct 1995 04:00:00


 > I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
 > but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
 > use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
 > like.

for rolling stock, one way is to soak a piece of paper-towel in
cleaning fluid (eg ***) and lay it over a piece of track. lay a
second, dry, piece, a bit further down the track.  then take a car
and run it back and forth over the fluid-soaked towel then move on to
the dry one. you have to do this by hand since an engine won't be
able to draw power from the rails when it runs over the towel.

you should do this on a spare piece of track on the workbench. if you
do it on the layout you might damage small details, mess up any
ballasting, etc, etc, etc.

--

Frank Kastenholz    "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy
                     present... As our case is new, so we must think anew, and
                     act anew" - A. Lincoln

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by John Oxlad » Sat, 07 Oct 1995 04:00:00


The problem with any form of abrasive cleaner is that they'll scratch
whatever you're trying to clean, making a better foothold for more dirt.

I have a Roco abrasive cleaner for 'serious' cleaning (after painting
track etc.), but for day-to-day cleaning, I use a purpose designed
cleaning liquid made by Trix.  Seuthe make the same sort of thing.
I personally wouldn't use any kind of cleaner that is meant to leave
a film of 'something' (oil or whatever) on the surfaces.

Still, the best way to kepp wheels and track clean, is try to keep as
much dust as possible out of the 'railway room', and just run them
suckers.

The rail cleaning car that Roco make is pretty good as the abrasive
pad underneath is not very abrassive.  I've seen them used on club
layouts - that might only be run for short periods once a week - and
they worked pretty well.  I'm not sure that it'd be necessary on a
smaller domestic layout.

The whole subject of cleaning track and wheels is a pain.  Roll on
the day when we can have real HO-scale diesels, and real steam
too that doesn't need track power.  Still leaves the electrics though.
Mind you, what is worse, cleaning HO-scale wheels, or trying to clean
the firebox in an HO-scale boiler..?  Cleaning the tubes would be even
worse. :-)

Quote:



>>I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times
>in the past,
>>but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model
>train.  I
>>use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
>>like.

>I use a kind of plastic/*** supplied by amongst others Roco
>and Fleischmann.
>It polishes the weels (and tracks), and you absolutely don't need
>anything else. The same stuff is also mounted on a car (Roco)
>that runs in
>one of my trains, it keeps the track clean. If you want part
>numbers, let me
>know, I don't have the catalogues over here.

>Whether or not it is the best method, I don't know, but my
>trains run smoothly,
>even at very low speeds, without having to clean everything
>every few weeks.

>     Erik.

>-----------------------------------------------------------------
>--------------
>  Erik Teunissen                 |    
>  Philips Sound & Vision         |
>  tel ++3140 2735569             |

>-----------------------------------------------------------------
>--------------


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
"I am Pentium of Borg. Arithmetic is irrelevant. Prepare to be approximated."
 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Stand » Sun, 08 Oct 1995 04:00:00



Quote:


>  Are you talking about locomotive wheels or rolling stock wheels? I
>personally like the wheel cleaners that are connected to track power
>which you run the locomotive on wire brushes. Kadee use to make one, I
>do not know if they still do,

Yep.  Kadee still makes 'em.  I just bought one after the train show last
year (December 1994).

Happy rails!  :)

  -- Mike

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Jim Piazz » Sun, 08 Oct 1995 04:00:00


You might want to try this method: lightly saturate a paper towel with
denatured *** & place on track. Place loco on top of the previously
dowsed paper towel & lift just enough so that the wheels run. The
*** cleans the grunge off the wheels. You'll have to lightly hold on
to the loco so it doesn't run away off the paper towel.
Good luck  
 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Mr C.L.M. Zanotti-Fregonar » Tue, 10 Oct 1995 04:00:00


Dear All

Prepare to be startled.

I asked my grandad and he said:

use a clean soft white linen cloth and nothing else, rub it real *** the
rails!

It works really well and it also works for the rail cars and locos:
for the locos, use the motor to drive the wheels real fast and just touch
each wheel with the linen cloth while it's spinning

Carlo

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Nathanael W Berr » Wed, 11 Oct 1995 04:00:00



Quote:
Kueneman) writes:


>: I know that this topic must have come up at least a few times in the past,
>: but what is the best method for cleaning the wheels on a model train.  I
>: use *** and elbow grease, but it doesn't get it as clean as I would
>: like.

> Kent,

..
>power. The spinning wheels on the wire brushes do all the work for
you.
>Freight car wheels I still uses the toothbrush and denatured ***
..
>Jim Kueneman

    Use a brass or other soft metal brush - steel can score some
wheels, leaving a handy place for dirt to stick, and reducing
electrical contact.

On the paper towel method, alternating patches of alchohol moist and
dry
paper towel (same sheet) make life a little easier. I hold the towel on
one end and run the car with slight pressure away from that end. Then
use no pressure on the return. A combination of all methods seems to be
the best route. On clean tracks, the ROCO track cleaning car can
prevent buildup. Some of the other abrasive cleaning cards are better
at
removing dirt. I have yet to be impressed by a fluid based track
cleaning
car. My experience is that the fluid doesn't have time to loosen the
dirt before the pad goes over, so only some dirt gets removed, other
dirt gets
redistributed into clumps - it could be just my environmnet?

Nate

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Charles A Dav » Wed, 11 Oct 1995 04:00:00


Quote:


> Date: 10 Oct 1995 02:26:20 GMT
snip
> I have yet to be impressed by a fluid based track
> cleaning car.

snip
I've never tried to use the 'fluid application' type of 'track cleaning'
car to clean track. Always figured that there was too much of a problem
like you mentioned. (not enough time for fluid to work)
What I DO use the 'fluid' type car for, is applying a light coating of
'oil' to the track. (Yeh! I know there is an awful lot of discussion as
to whether or not the 'oiled track' system works)
All I can do is tell what the results are on our club layout.

        Oil the track (not enough to be seen, but you can wipe the rail
                with your fingers and get 'black dirt' off of the rail).
        NO operation problems (from dirty track) for the next 6 to 9 months.

        This is on a layout that sits unused for 6 1/2 days, and then we
                turn on the trains. (Some sections of track won't see
                operation for 3 or 4 months.)

We start having 'track contact' problems --- roll out the old 'ulrich' (I
believe) track cleaning car, and let it 'wipe down' the track.

For oil, I use a mixture of 75% kerosene and 25% motor oil. (10/30,
10/40, 30, 40 wt., whatever is handy.)

(Oh yeh!, There have been times when it's been a year or two between
operation sessions. And it's apparent where the track was treated.
(That's the part that runs.)

Chuck D.

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Bob Bats » Wed, 11 Oct 1995 04:00:00


Subject: Re: best method to clean wheels?                            

CA> Oil the track (not enough to be seen, but you can wipe the rail
  >  with your fingers and get 'black dirt' off of the rail).
  > NO operation problems (from dirty track) for the next 6 to 9 months.

I can vouch for that!  I first read that here in January, and thought
it would never work here in west Texas where you get more dust in a
week than most people get in year. After reading various testimonials,
I figured it was worth a try.  I used a light coat of Labelle 108.  I
have not cleaned the track since then (although it may be getting
close).  I run pretty regular.  If I go a while without running, the
first engine through may sputter a little, but after that, it's smooth
sailing.

I do clean wheels on the engines very regularly, and I think that is
important.


 * 1st 2.00 #6283 * Never feed your cat anything that clashes with the carpet

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by Charles A Dav » Fri, 13 Oct 1995 04:00:00


Quote:


> Date: Tue, 10 Oct 1995 23:17:00 -0600
> CA> Oil the track [snip]
>           thought
> it would never work here in west Texas where you get more dust in a
> week than most people get in year. After reading various testimonials,
> I figured it was worth a try. [snip]

Just a little info.
I first tried the 'oil' method, in '54 or '55. October, Fresno County
Fair, Calif. The local RR Club had layout space (semi enclosed -- mild
Calif weather), in return for having the layout operating for the FAIR.
10 days 10:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Starting with CLEAN track (Bright Boys &
elbow grease), The trains would grind to a halt after 30 to 50 minutes of
operation (depending on the amount of foot traffic [foot dust]). I don't
remember the details of the discovery, but, we found that an application
of 3in1 oil to the rails smoothed things out and allowed operation for
another hour or so before the next application of oil was needed.
The only observed problem was --- the 'air borne' dust & oil formed a
paste that 'squished' off of the wheel treads -- making the tread of the
wheel seem to get wider. This would continue until the 'oil/dust' tread
got wide enough to hit the back of the truck side frames, at which point
little 'gobs' if the 'oil/dust' would break off and fall to the ground
along the track. The thing that we noticed was these 'gobs' of oily
dirt, took a while to figure where they were coming from.

Chuck D.

 
 
 

best method to clean wheels?

Post by john kel » Fri, 13 Oct 1995 04:00:00


: Subject: Re: best method to clean wheels?                            

: CA> Oil the track (not enough to be seen, but you can wipe the rail
:   >  with your fingers and get 'black dirt' off of the rail).
:   > NO operation problems (from dirty track) for the next 6 to 9 months.

: I can vouch for that!  I first read that here in January, and thought
: it would never work here in west Texas where you get more dust in a
: week than most people get in year. After reading various testimonials,
: I figured it was worth a try.  I used a light coat of Labelle 108.  I
: have not cleaned the track since then (although it may be getting
: close).  I run pretty regular.  If I go a while without running, the
: first engine through may sputter a little, but after that, it's smooth
: sailing.

: I do clean wheels on the engines very regularly, and I think that is
: important.


:  * 1st 2.00 #6283 * Never feed your cat anything that clashes with the carpet

I've seen this suggested many times and it must be working, but why
don't the wheels slip?  Perhaps the oil actually attracts dust (which
is equivalent to putting sand on real tracks) and gives better
traction?  And this contributes to better electrical contact as the
wheels are sort-of grinding into the track/dirt particles???

I know if I were to get oil on my 3-rail Lionel layout, I'd be in
serious slippage trouble (except for *** tire units (maybe) and
magna-traction engines).

Just curious.

Also I made the mistake once of using a rag with some WD-40 to clean a
G-gauge track and I thought I'd never get anything to pull on that
again (every engine slipped terribly although there was excellent
electrical contact).

Thanks, Bob

--
Dr. John R. (Bob) Kelty                 voice:     (402) 472-2793
UNL Physics and Astronomy               fax:       (402) 472-2879

Lincoln, NE  68588-0111         "not worth the bw it's sent over"